Sunday, July 31, 2016

Big Star - Keep An Eye On The Sky (1968-75 us, fantastic compilation with alternative versions, demos, outtakes and live recording, 2009 four discs box set)



In the wonderful booklet that comes with Keep An Eye On The Sky, the most comprehensive compilation of the semiminal (though often overlooked) Big Star, there’s an in-depth article where Bob Mehr gathers comments from fans, friends and famous supporters of the group.

Among them there’s Peter Holsapple, dB's former composer and guitarist, who credits much of his success to Big Star: “I used to test my potential girlfriends with Radio City,” says Holsapple. He adds he was once told by one of this “candidates” that Big Star were like “America with too much high frequencies”: the girl responsible for this profanation was immediately “dismissed”, because cults – whether big or small – must always be guarded, cherished and respected.

Cults promote the sense of being part of something and help fight loneliness. And Big Star are the quintessential cult-band. Although Big Star only released two albums during their brief existence, they are now considered milestones and reference points for thousands of artists. The albums have fallen in and out of print over the years, including a third album (Third/Sister Lovers) released some eleven years after the group broke up.

Formed in Memphis, Tennessee by two songwriters, Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. Chilton had already enjoyed success with The Box Tops, singing the 1967 #1 hit, The Letter at the tender age of 16. Chris Bell was an anglophile who had fallen in love with the Fab Four and was scraping a living as technician in the Ardent Studios. They met by chance, when Chilton wanted to record something new while Bell introduced him to Andy Hummel (bass) and Jody Stephens (drums). Together they spent many nights playing the songs of The Yardbirds and The Who.

According to Peter Buck (R.E.M.), in the mid-1970s the only ones who knew Big Star were music critics and record store employees. “No one I knew had ever seen them play. I think I’d read that one of the guys had been in the Box Tops — which made no sense either. Information was scarce. So these records they’d put out, they were simply artifacts. It was like seeing the heads of Easter Island or the Great Pyramids or something. You didn’t know what they were or how they’d gotten there. The band was a mystery. Nowadays you get a computer and look for them in Google, but back then there were just the albums. Nobody I knew had ever seen them playing live. It was probably the first group to embody the idea of beautiful loser. Before them, the Velvet Underground had issued four albums and toured everywhere in the States. You could find Stooges’ albums in stores: they were not popular, but they were available. Big Star forced you to wonder whether their career was actually real. It looked like one of those weird American mythologies: these guys had done some excellent works, they were ignored and so they disappeared”.

Keep An Eye On The Sky is the parameter required for anybody - believers or not - to enter the Big Star church and become its ministers. It’s a cult object itself, a ray of light in the darkness so that nobody can ever say “I wasn’t there” or “I didn’t know” about an adventure that has been canonized by time and by Eliott Smith, Wilco, The Walkabouts, Nada Surf, Teenage Fanclub, The Replacements, Primal Scream, and Whiskeytown , just to name a few artists who have performed the songs of Big Star.

In other words, Keep An Eye On The Sky is based on the “cult status” of Big Star and not on their “career”, because the latter day offshoots spanning from the live “reunion” album, Columbia: Live at Missouri University (1993) to the last studio album, In Space (2005) released are wisely ignored: first of all because they are not very good, but secondly, and more importantly, because the crystal-clear eloquence of myths don’t allow for appendices.

With Big Star a new language was born where the Mercybeat of The Beatles and Kinks merged with Southern soul, romantic teenage fantasies, and coming of age tales. Sometimes we wonder: are we talking about the same authors when listening to the childlike images of Thirteen (“Won’t you let me walk you home from school / won’t you let me meet you at the pool / Maybe Friday I can / get tickets for the dance / and I’ll take you”) and Back Of A Car (“Sitting in the back of a car / Music so loud can’t tell a thing / Thinkin’ ‘bout what to say / And I can’t find the lines”) and then to the sorrowful gloomy Holocaust (“You’re mother’s dead / You’re on your own / She’s in her bed / Everybody goes / As far as they can / They don’t just care / You’re a wasted face / You’re a sad-eyed lie / You’re a holocaust”)?

In 1972 Ardent has just signed a distribution contract with Stax to promote works recorded in its studios. The label founder and studio owner, John Fry – the genius sound engineer –offered an unlimited amount of recording hours. Big Star were given freedom to play and experiment in the studio supervised by Terry Manning, Jim Dickinson and Fry himself. #1 Record really invents “power-pop” by mixing Beatles-like melodies and soft harmony-vocals with killing riffs, rootsy rough tunings, hyperbolic drumming and nervous bursts of organ and winds.

Bell is responsible for the softer, poppier, side of the group, whereas Chilton provides rock’n’roll urgency. Even though the songs are mostly co-written, #1 Record belongs mainly to Bell, who’s able to inflate his pop gems with the obscure depth the emotional distress of Soul, while Chilton sharpens his rock’n’roll edges and brings an r&b groove to the songs.

Accustomed to the public’s sudden changes in taste, Chilton bore the commercial flop without striking a blow, but Bell went off the rails with his drug addiction, spending most of 1973 in a rehab centre. Briefly Bell relocated to Europe, but he eventually returned to Tennessee to manage the family-run fast food chain until 1978 when he tragically died in a car accident. Over a decade after his passing, the superb I Am The Cosmos (his lone solo release) was released, and is worth the best pages of Big Star’s songbook (the box contains some of the solo demos).

Tragedy is part of the show and, with a Shakespearian solemnity, after two albums - #1 Record (1972) and Radio City (1974) – full of promises, unforgettable melodies and youthful exuberance Big Star fell apart in the grand collapse of Third/Sister Lovers. Alex Chilton and Jody Stevens entered the Ardent studio once again, but this time without Chris Bell or Andy Hummel. Using an array of local Memphis musicians, Chilton attempted a third Big Star album.

The lyrics of Nightime (“Get me out of here / I hate it here”) sound like an epitaph in the too short career of such a great band. The new recordings, full of feedback lashes, dark-folk and classic strings, don’t even have a name: the tiny label PVC provides it – with just a little imagination - and in 1985 issues what they considers the definitive tracks under the title Third/Sister Lovers, while Jody Stephens becomes the new manager of Ardent.

What comes next is recent history and it’s not very interesting. What’s really interesting, though, is the fact that Keep An Eye On The Sky outlines the box-set state of the art: it contains nearly all of Big Star’s studio output, featuring original tracks, alternative versions, demos, covers and unreleased tracks (spanning a period from 1968 to 1975) along with a kick-ass live album recorded when Big Star opened for Archie Bell & The Drells at the Lafayette's Music Room in Memphis. Fifty-two songs (out of ninty-eight) have never been issued before. Well done.

Keep An Eye On The Sky is like a mirror game where it’s exciting to get lost. The folkie confession of The India Song (here sung by Hummel alone) merges the Led Zeppelin[esque heavy rock of Feel and Don't Lie To Me with the anthemic roots of The Ballad Of El Goodo, the country-based soul of Country Morn and Watch The Sunrise with the acoustic interpretation of Loudon Wainwright’s Motel Blues.

Radio City’s garage-oriented pop-rock stands out in the second album, along with the only full-length record ever released by Chris Bell (starring the epic, dynamic pop of I Am The Cosmos and You And Your Sister), some lo-fi demos that became part of Third/Sister Lovers, and a multilingual version of the Velvet’s Femme Fatale. It’s a triumph of ballads and pop-rock that foreshadows the whole artistic career of Posies, Raspberries, Fountains Of Wayne or Gin Blossoms, who are all included in the crazy r’n’r of I Got Kinda Lost and Back Of A Car, in Way Out West’s (new) latin percussions, in O My Soul’s (new) Booker T.-styled keyboards and in the immortal ramshackle hymn of September Gurls.

The third CD lines up the existential (and musical) disorientation of Third/Sister Lovers (the album that modern rock critics praise the most). There are fewer unreleased tracks but the unplugged versions of Jesus Christ, Downs, Holocaust and Lovely Day along with the amazing Till The End Of The Day (Kinks) and the standard Nature Boy (with the photographer William Eggleston on piano) are enough to spice it up.

No words could express the overwhelming live album found at the end of the box. The concert highlights the explosive heap of energetic, powerful, rowdy and restless roots-rock of She's A Mover, the bluesy Try Again, the disorienting guitar and drums solos of ST 100/6 and the unpredictable covers including Hot Burrito #2 by Flying Burrito Brothers, Baby Strange by T. Rex, and the pop-prog classic, Slut by Rundgren.

We know that each monotheist religion is in danger because of its own dogmatisms, but the consubstantiation taking place in Keep An Eye On The Sky is something close to a miracle. It shows all the enthusiasm of a band ready to conquer the world, all the influences coming from a whole youth spent listening to every record they could come across, all the shadows of the overhanging disaster and all the darkness deriving from human and creative failures that will mark all the coming years.

The glue is, as always, rock’n’roll and Keep An Eye On The Sky is the closest thing I could imagine to a monument to all its beauty, all its dreams and all its poetry.
by Gianfranco Callieri
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Chris Bell - Psychedelic Stuff (Original Mix) (Chris Bell) - 3:04
2. Icewater - All I See Is You (Chris Bell, Steve Rhea) - 3:29
3. Alex Chilton - Every Day As We Grow Closer (Original Mix) (Alex Chilton) - 2:27
4. Rock City - Try Again (Early Version) - 3:37
5. Feel - 3:32
6. The Ballad Of El Goodo - 4:18
7. In The Street (Alternate Mix) - 2:54 
8. Thirteen (Alternate Mix) - 2:36
9. Don't Lie To Me - 3:07
10.The India Song (Alternate Mix) (Andy Hummel) - 2:23
11.When My Baby's Beside Me (Alternate Mix) - 3:27
12.My Life Is Right (Alternate Mix) (Chris Bell, Tom Eubanks) - 3:16
13.Give Me Another Chance (Alternate Mix) - 3:27
14.Try Again - 3:32
15.Gone With The Light (Chris Bell) -2:44 
16.Watch The Sunrise (Single Version) - 3:10
17.ST 100/6 (Alternate Mix) - 0:54
18.Rock City - The Preacher (Excerpt) (Chris Bell, Tom Eubanks) - 0:56
19.In The Street (Alternate Single Mix) - 3:00
20.Feel (Alternate Mix) - 3:32
21.The Ballad Of El Goodo (Alternate Lyrics) - 4:29
22.The India Song (Alternate Version) (Andy Hummel) -2:09 
23.Country Morn (Chris Bell) - 3:12
24.I Got Kinda Lost (Demo) (Chris Bell) - 3:34
25.Back Of A Car (Demo) (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) -3:16 
26.Motel Blues (Demo) (Loudon Wainwright III) - 3:03
All Songs by Chris Bell, Alex Chilton except where stated
Disc 2
1. There Was A Light (Demo) (Chris Bell) - 3:43
2. Life Is White (Demo) (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 3:16
3. What's Going Ahn (Demo) (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 2:13
4. O My Soul - 5:38
5. Life Is White (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 3:18
6. Way Out West (Andy Hummel) - 2:50
7. What's Going Ahn (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 2:41
8. You Get What You Deserve - 3:05
9. Mod Lang (Alternate Mix) (Alex Chilton, Richad Rosebrough) - 2:47
10.Back Of A Car (Alternate Mix) (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 2:47
11.Daisy Glaze (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel, Jody Stephens) - 3:49
12.She's A Mover - 3:13
13.September Gurls - 2:48
14.Morpha Too (Alternate Mix) - 1:27
15.I'm In Love With A Girl - 1:48
16.O My Soul (Alternate Version) - 5:09
17.She's A Mover (Alternate Version) - 3:16
18.Daisy Glaze (Rehearsal Version) (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel, Jody Stephens) - 3:52
19.Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos (Chris Bell) - 3:42
20.Chris Bell - You And Your Sister (Chris Bell) - 3:10
21.Blue Moon (Demo) - 2:08
22.Femme Fatale (Demo) (Lou Reed) - 2:48
23.Thank You Friends (Demo) - 2:46
24.Nightime (Demo) - 2:13
25.Take Care (Demo) - 1:35
26.You Get What You Deserve (Demo) - 3:20
All Songs by Alex Chilton except where stated
Disc 3
1. Lovely Day (Demo) - 1:50
2. Downs (Demo) (Alex Chilton, Lesa Aldridge) - 1:25
3. Jesus Christ (Demo) - 2:28
4. Holocaust (Demo) - 3:34
5. Big Black Car (Alternate Demo) (Alex Chilton, Chris Cage) - 4:39
6. Manana - 0:46
7. Jesus Christ - 2:20 
8. Femme Fatale (Lou Reed) - 3:28
9. O, Dana - 2:35
10.Kizza Me - 2:43
11.You Can't Have Me - 3:18 
12.Nightime - 2:52
13.Dream Lover - 3:33
14.Big Black Car (Alex Chilton, Chris Cage) - 3:37
15.Blue Moon - 2:06
16.Holocaust - 3:48
17.Stroke It Noel - 2:06 
18.For You (Jody Stephens) - 2:42 
19.Downs (Alex Chilton, Lesa Aldridge) - 1:51
20.Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Davis Curly Williams) - 3:23
21.Kanga Roo - 3:45
22.Thank You Friends - 3:04
23.Take Care - 2:47
24.Lovely Day - 2:07
25.Till The End Of The Day (Alternate Mix) (Ray Davies) - 2:13
26.Nature Boy (Alternate Mix) (Eden Ahbez) - 2:38
All Songs by Alex Chilton except where indicated
Disc 4 - Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973
1. When My Baby's Beside Me (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 3:28
2. My Life Is Right (Chris Bell, Thomas Dean Eubanks) - 3:23
3. She's A Mover (Alex Chilton) - 4:06
4. Way Out West (Andy Hummel) - 2:41
5. The Ballad Of El Goodo (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 4:20
6. In The Street (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 2:50
7. Back Of A Car (Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel) - 2:40
8. Thirteen (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 3:01
9. The India Song (Andy Hummel) - 2:24
10.Try Again (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 3:18
11.Watch The Sunrise (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 4:01
12.Don't Lie To Me (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 4:09
13.Hot Burrito (Chris Ethridge, Gram Parsons) - 3:49
14.I Got Kinda Lost (Chris Bell) - 2:56
15.Baby Strange (Marc Bolan) - 4:09
16.Slut (Todd Rundgren) - 3:34
17.There Was A Light (Chris Bell) - 3:24
18.ST 100/6 (Chris Bell, Alex Chilton) - 3:55
19.Come On Now (Ray Davies) - 1:53
20.O My Soul (Alex Chilton) - 5:40

The Big Star
*Alex Chilton - Guitars, Vocals (1971-1974)
*Jody Stephens - Drums, Vocals (1971-1974)
*Chris Bell - Guitars, Vocals (1971-1972)
*Andy Hummel - Bass, Vocals (1971-1973)
With
*Thomas Dean Eubanks - Bass, Vocals
*Richad Rosebrough - Drums
*John Lightman - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love - Horns
*Terry Manning - Vocals
*Danny Jones - Bass
*Ken Woodley - Bass
*Bill Cunningham - Strings Arrangement
*Jim Dickinson - Guitar, Keyboards
*Lee Baker - Guitar
*Steve Cropper - Guitar
*Tommy Cathay - Bass
*Tommy McClure - Bass
*William Murphy - Bass
*Tarp Tarrant - Drums
*Lesa Aldridge - Vocals
*Noel Gilbert - Violin
*Peter Spurbeck - Cello
*Carl Mash - Reeds, Woodwinds, Synthesizer, Strings Arrangement

Related Acts
1967-69  The Box Tops - The Original Albums ( four albums two disc set, 2015 issue)
1967-70  The Box Tops - The Best Of Box Tops
1970  Alex Chilton - Free Again: The 1970 Sessions (2012 release)
1985  Alex Chilton – Feudalist Tarts (Vinyl edition)
1972-76  Chris Bell - I'm The Cosmos (two discs set)  

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Little Feat - Sailin' Shoes (1972 us, sensational blend of southern country blues rock, 2007 japan SHM remaster)



Now, here's a band with a mission. Little Feat is hewn from the same piece of oak as the Byrds, the Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Like those three great (or once-great) groups, Little Feat is preoccupied with American myths and folklore, though in its own peculiar way. This preoccupation is evocatively evident in the group's two albums, Little Feat (one of the three or four best of 1970), and the new record, Sailin' Shoes. Because of the thematic consistency of Little Feat's recorded work, the two albums must be looked upon as a continuum; there may be more piano on the first and more guitar on the second, but the body of concerns is the same.

And the group's approach to its mythic interests follows the same pattern on both LPs. Rather than telling stories in a literal sense, Little Feat's songs flash a myriad of fleeting, haunting images, appearing with all the vivid suddenness of floodlit roadside billboards zooming past an open car window.

These albums are virtual treasure chests of haunting associations, sketches, and scenarios. It isn't merely the words, of course, but also the proud, powerful way they're driven across. Lowell George and Bill Payne don't stop at being the writers of virile, touching songs–they're also masterful musicians. Payne plays a cool, elegant piano and a hot, whirring organ. George makes his slide guitar howl and roar like a tractor trailer in the midst of a steep, mountainous descent. George illustrates the muscular mating of men and their machines, while Payne celebrates it. Together with former Mother Roy Estrada on bass and Richard Hayward on drums, they compose one super rock 'n' roll band. Little Feat can play steaming hot, iron-ore heavy, over-easy light, or non-stop speedy, as the occasion demands. They never sound pretty, but there's an unmissable beauty about their rough-around-the-edges designs.

Vividly representative of what Little Feat is about is "Willin'," a song so fine they did it twice, once on each album. On the first album, they made the song, written by George, a heroic depiction of the long-distance trucker, a dark, solemn expression of purpose. George sang in his deepest, most tired voice, and the band left the track virtually empty, with only the strumming of a lonely acoustic guitar, until the last section, when Ry Cooder's razor-sharp slide guitar sliced through the emptiness like highbeams on a flat, empty highway. This time, however, they've dressed it up in bright, heroic colors, with George using his high, urgent voice to play the trucker's part, and rich harmonies flapping like banners over the song's most celebratory passages: "Just give me ... weed, whites, and wine,/And show me a sign, And I'll be willin' to be movin'." That Lowell George must've done some driving in his time–or dreamed of it. At any rate, it's a proud, wonderful song, encapsulating a wealth of mythic-heroic elements, from Duke Wayne way back past the Indian Scout and the pathfinder.

But it's primarily contemporary myths Little Feat is involved with–and living folklore. Sailin' Shoes, interweaving its big trucks, seedy hotels, and greasy spoons with songs about rock 'n' roll, seeks to incorporate this special music into the raw, vibrant, and vast setting of mythic America. The band forcefully shows how well this music, with its mixture of the primitive and the technological, fits into the scheme of things. And they do it with a vengeance, playing like bloody murder, brutalizing but at the same time exalting their equipment, in much the same way the trucker both batters and romanticizes his machine. Each knows his machine helps make him what he is–completes him.
by Bud Scoppa

Tracks
1. Easy To Slip (Lowell George, Fred Martin) - 3:19
2. Cold, Cold, Cold - 3:58
3. Trouble - 2:15
4. Tripe Face Boogie - 3:14
5. Willin' (Richie Hayward, Bill Payne) - 2:54
6. A Apolitical Blues - 3:25
7. Sailin' Shoes - 2:49
8. Teenage Nervous Breakdown - 2:10
9. Got No Shadow (Bill Payne) - 5:05
10.Cat Fever (Bill Payne) - 4:35
11.Texas Rose Cafe - 3:43
All songs by Lowell George, except where noted.

Little Feat
*Lowell George - Lead, Rhythm, Slide Guitars, Lead, Backing Vocals, Harmonica, Baritone Saxophone, Drum Machine
*Bill Payne - Keyboards, Lead, Backing Vocals, Piano, Accordion
*Roy Estrada - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Richard Hayward - Drums, Backing Vocals
Guests Musicians
*Milt Holland - Percussion
*Sneaky Pete Kleinow - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Debbie Lindsey - Backing Vocals
*Ron Elliott - Rhythm Guitar

1971  Little Feat - Little Feat (2007 japan remaster)

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Little Feat - Little Feat (1971 us, amazing country rock r 'n' b, 2007 japan remaster)



Drop any preconceived notions you may have about this band and get this debut record. It’s a unique sound in their discography. A bluesy, roots rocker masterpiece with the loose feel of Exile on Main Street and the all around good presence of Manassas.

Formed under the wake of Frank Zappa, and even including former Mother, Roy Estrada on bass, Little Feat would go on, after their poorly selling debut record, to release albums with a different sound, featuring iconic sleeves by Weasels Ripped My Flesh artist Neon Park. I think it’s impossible to flip through a stack of used vinyl without finding that lady duck on the cover of Down on the Farm. Later Little Feat has its place, but we recommend this beast.

Some gems: there’s the beautiful, stripped-down Willin’, the song Zappa supposedly fired Lowell George over (either because it was too damn good for a session man or because it championed “weed, whites, and wine”). This song would be re-recorded by a later incarnation of Little Feat and become one of their most loved songs. A ripping Howlin’ Wolf tribute medley in Forty-Four Blues / How Many More Years is a nice feature. The album is great for a first listen because it just fills up the room with rock, but it is truly better as you delve in and listen more.
by Brendan McGrath
Tracks
1. Snakes On Everything (Bill Payne) - 3:03
2. Strawberry Flats (Bill Payne, Lowell George) - 2:23
3. Truck Stop Girl (Bill Payne, Lowell George) - 2:31
4. Brides Of Jesus (Bill Payne, Lowell George) - 3:22
5. Willing (Lowell George) - 2:24
6. Hamburger Midnight (Lowell George, Roy Estrada) - 2:32
7. Forty Four Blues / How Many More Years (Roosevelt Sykes, Chester Burnett) - 6:28
8. Crack In Your Door (Lowell George) - 2:18
9. I've Been The One (Lowell George) - 2:23
10.Takin' My Time (Bill Payne) - 3:48
11.Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie (Bill Payne, Lowell George) - 1:56

Little Feat
*Lowell George - Lead, Rhythm, Slide Guitars, Lead, Backing Vocals, Harmonica
*Bill Payne - Keyboards, Lead, Backing Vocals, Piano
*Roy Estrada - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Richard Hayward - Drums, Backing Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Russ Titelman - Percussion, Backing Vocals, Piano
*Ry Cooder - Slide Guitar
*Sneaky Pete Kleinow - Pedal Steel
*Kirby Johnson - String, Horn Arrangements

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The International Submarine Band - Safe At Home (1968 us, outstanding country folk rock, 2004 remaster)



This was Gram Parsons’ debut album, the eternally underrated Safe At Home.  Prior to this he had recorded solo demos, music with an early folk band the Shilohs and a few singles with the International Submarine Band – all worthwhile stuff.  Parsons formed this group after he had dropped out of Harvard and moved to New York City.  While he was no stranger to the recording studio, critics and music fans unfairly label Safe At Home as a tentative early album that showed signs of greatness. While it was nowhere near as influential as Gilded Palace of Sin, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, or Parsons’ two solo discs, time has shown Safe At Home to be much more than an early throw away.

The remaining members consisted of rhythm guitarist Bob Buchanan, bass player Ian Dunlop and drummer Jon Corneal.  The album is disappointingly short at 9 songs but all the performances are memorable and Gram’s talent as a bandleader is clearly on display.  Even so early on in his career Parsons’ vocal and songwriting abilities were obvious and on the money.  The rest of the group is tight and engaging, reminding me of a garage band playing country music – reckless playing and soulful harmonies.  There are four originals: an early version of Do You Know How It Feels To Be Lonesome which is sparse but very effective, Luxury Liner, Strong Boy, and Blue Eyes.  The latter three tracks are country rock classics, kind of like early benchmarks for the genre.  Luxury Liner charges hard like a freight train and is probably the most popular track off the original lp.  Without a doubt the album’s most rock oriented number, this track is essential listening.  Just as good is Blue Eyes and Strong Boy which are closer to pure country and show off great Parsons vocal performances.  Strong Boy is one of the true country rock classics, an absolute must hear.

The remaining tracks are wisely chosen covers, all great renditions too.  Satisfied Mind is notable for its powerful drum work, Folsom Prison Blues has great stinging guitar leads and I Must Be Somebody Else You’ve Known sports a gorgeous, catchy chorus that’s worth the price of admission.  The original lp was released off Lee Hazlewood’s LHI Records in 1968.  At the time it was praised widely by the likes of Glen Campbell and Don Everly though sales were pretty poor.  There is really much more to this story that I’m leaving out but my main objective was to comment on the strength of the songs and general quality of performance.

Parsons left the group before the lp’s release and remained inactive for a few months before joining the Byrds.  Many of you know this record, so in a sense it’s not really a lost album like The Wheel (Bernie Schwartz) or Morning.  But taken as a whole, Safe At Home is a fresh, groundbreaking record, that at least in my mind is a classic.  The best cd version is on Sundazed, orignal artwork and all.
by Jason Nardelli
Tracks
1. Blue Eyes (Gram Parsons) - 2:50
2. I Must Be Somebody Else You've Known (Merle Haggard) - 2:14
3. A Satisfied Mind (Jack Rhodes, Joe Hayes) - 2:27
4. Folsom Prison Blues / That's All Right (John R. Cash, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup) - 4:21
5. Miller's Cave (Jack Clement) - 2:45
6. I Still Miss Someone (John R. Cash) - 2:43
7. Luxury Liner (Gram Parsons) - 2:51
8. Strong Boy (Gram Parsons) - 2:00
9. Do You Know How It Feels To Be Lonesome? (Barry Goldberg, Gram Parsons) - 3:31
10.Knee Deep In The Blues (Melvin Endsley) - 1:55

The International Submarine Band
*Gram Parsons - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
*Jon Corneal - Drums, Vocals
*John Nuese - Lead Guitar
*Bob Buchanan - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
With
*Earl "Les" Ball - Piano
*Joe Osborn – Bass
*Jay Dee Maness - Steel Guitar
*Chris Ethridge – Bass
*Suzi Jane Hokom – Harmony Vocal

Related Acts
1968  The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (two disc set remaster and expanded)
1969  Steve Young - Rock Salt And Nails (2010 korean remaster)

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Those Guys - Behind The Glasses (1967 us, excellent garage psych, 2009 release)



Realizing a good thing when one came along, Those Guys David Owens, Jimmy Owens and Bill Dabbs hooked up with Bob Barnes and Eddie Deaton shortly after that duo's own rock band--the legendary Elite--broke up.  This line-up of Those Guys would soon become one of the most popular groups in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  The band scored a regional hit in 1967 with their version of 'People Say' but reached their peak behind the incredibly strong songwriting of David Owens.  Over forty years later, their 'Stereopis Of A Floret' and 'Lookin' At You Behind The Glasses' have become recognized as garage rock and psychedelic classics.  

This collection of Those Guys recordings includes the complete recorded output of the core group, including their four single sides, six unreleased recordings enginnered by T-Bone Burnett and four bonus tracks recorded for the Sump'n Else TV show.  
Tracks
1. Lookin' At You Behind The Glasses (Bob Barnes) - 2:28
2. Three Days Gone (D. Owens, B. Barnes) - 2:44
3. People Say (J. Barry, E. Greenwich) - 2:28
4. Steropsis Of A Floret (David Owens) - 2:26
5. Everything's Gonna Be Alright (David Owens) - 2:01
6. Sad Smiling Faces (David Owens) - 2:31
7. Sunshine Go Lightly (David Owens) - 1:55
8. The Fix-It Man (David Owens) - 2:18
9. Workin' Girl (David Owens) - 2:33
10.Wonderin' (David Owens) - 1:51
11.When I'm Alone (D. Clark, M. Smith) - 2:32
12.Kentucky Woman (N. Diamond) - 2:43
13.Never My Love (D.J. Adrissi, R.P. Adrissi) - 2:13
14.Come Home (D. Clark, M. Smith) - 2:51

Those Guys
*Bob Dabbs - Drums, Vocals
*David Owens - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Jimmy Owens -  Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Barnes - Bass, Vocals
*Eddie Deaton - Lead Guitar, Vocals

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

The New Nadir/Me And The Others - Uncovered (1966-67 new zealand, awesome garage psych freakbeat with young Gary Thain, vinyl issue)



Groundbreaking split LP including 5 killer previously unreleased 1967 freakbeat/rnb/garage studio tracks by the legendary New Nadir featuring Ed Carter from San Francisco, California on lead guitar and vocals (pre The Beach Boys); Gary Thain from Christchurch, New Zealand on bass (pre Keef Hartley, and Uriah Heep); plus Peter Dawkins also from Christchurch, New Zealand on drums (the greatest record producer from down under).

The New Nadir have played some celebrated clubs in London such as the Speakeasy where they gigged a few times with Jimi Hendrix, who was supposed to produce their first record for the UK Polydor label, however after Ed Carter had received the offer to join The Beach Boys, the band split and nothing was ever released.

The five tracks by The New Nadir on this LP were recorded on Monday, August 28th 1967, at a professional Swiss recording studio near Zurich, and capture them in great mood at their fantastic first recordings. The songs range from top freakbeat/garage masterpieces (TOMORROW, as well as I NEED HER NOW), thru unique eastern influenced freakbeat tracks with raga riffs (BLACK SNOW), and onto the pop-art sound of PEOPLE ARE CHANGING, and the rambling rnb/freakbeat/garage guitar instrumental WALKING.

The LP is highlighted by the monster previously unreleased freakbeat track LOVE IS NOT A GAME, which was recorded by the pre-New Nadir outfit Me And The Others in November 1966, at Regent Sound Studios in London. This could easily hail as one of the greatest freakbeat tracks which was ever produced in the UK.

Me And The Others were a mid 60s beat/rnb/freakbeat band from Christchurch, New Zealand featuring Peter Dawkins on drums, and vocals (ex The Strangers); Dave Chapman on guitar, Gary Thain on bass (ex The Secrets, and The Strangers), as well as Paul Muggleston on lead vocals, guitar, and organ (ex The Secrets, The Dynamics, Atlantics, etc.). The LP is rounded out by 5 choice never before released live tracks from a Me And The Others gig in Germany that was recorded in January 1967: The amazing Graham Bond Organisation type of guitar - organ instrumental COMING HOME BABY, plus fantastic kiwi modbeat/garage/freakbeat versions of YOU BETTER RUN, HOLD ON I’M COMING, and CAN’T TURN YOU LOOSE, as well as the killer garage punk original track EVEN GREEN ONES.
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Gary Thain later joined The Keef Hartley Band (1969-72), also worked with Miller Anderson in his solo album (1971) and Uriah Heep (1972-74).
After continued struggles with health and drug problems, Gary died December 8, 1975, in his flat at Norwood Green at the young age of 27.

Tracks
The New Nadir
1. People Are Changing (Gary Thain, Edward Carter, Peter Dawkins) - 3:25
2. I Need Her Now (Gary Thain, Peter Dawkins, Edward Carter) - 2:39
3. Walking  (Gary Thain, Edward Carter, Peter Dawkins) - 2:54
4. Tomorrow  (Peter Dawkins, Edward Carter) - 3:28
5. Black Snow  (Edward Carter, Gary Thain, Peter Dawkins) - 3:04
Me And The Others
6. Love Is Not A Game (H. Robertshaw arr. by D. Chapman, P. Muggleston, G. Thain, P. Dawkins) - 2:22
7. Even Green Ones (Peter Dawkins) - 2:30
8. Coming Home Baby (Bob Dorough, Ben Tucker Arr. by Paul Muggleston, Gary Thain, David Chapman, Peter Dawkins) - 1:40
9. You Better Run (Edward  Brigati, Felix Cavaliere) - 2:28
10.Hold On I’m Coming (I. Hayes, D Porter) - 2:21
11.Can’t Turn You Loose (Otis Redding) - 3:07

The New Nadir
*Ed Carter - Vocals Guitar
*Gary Thain - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Peter Dawkins - Drums, Backing Vocals

Me And The Others
*Peter Dawkins - Drums, Vocals
*David Champman - Lead Guitar
*Paul Muggleston - Bass
*Gary Thain - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Organ

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blue Max - Limited Edition (1976 canada, astonishing sharp rough 'n' roll, 2003 issue)



Blue Max was a rock trio from Amherst, Nova Scotia that formed in 1973 with all the hopes and aspirations ofr many similar groups of that era, albeit they were probably a little younger than most. When they played their first professional gig in 1974, George Douglas and Robert Graves, the drummer and vocalist/ guitarist, were both 15. Andrew Douglas, the bass player, was just 12 years old!! Through endless practice, relentless determination, and confidence only youth can provide, the inseparable trio managed to carve out a curcuit for themselves in the Maritimes and Eastern Québec, playing mainly high school dances on the weekends, since they were still in school themselves. Being the same age as the audience they were performing for helped make them a popular choice for schools again and again.

From the beginning, Blue Max played many of their original songs in every performance and soon felt the need to create an album of their own. On their Christmas vacation from school, in 1976, they traveled to Halifax, to the only studio in the area at the time and recorded "limited Edition", which was released soon after. It was an apt title since only 1,000 copies were issued but it served it's purpose well as a promotional tool and a keepsake for some of the most ardent fans. It captured the unique flavor of rock that was Blue Max. Soon after it's release, Blue Max started playing the bars as well as school dances, even though they were still underage themselves, and they discovered a whole new audience. They also began promoting their own Concerts in arenas around the Maritimes during the summer months when schools were not available. For two more years the band enjoyed regional success. 

After seven years together, they all felt the need for some change and Blue Max disbanded with each of them going their own separate ways. George continued to play drums part time in local bands and pursue other hobbies of collecting Corvettes and playing hockey.He is now manager of two NAPA auto supply stores in his home town of Amherst, and Springhill, and is the father of two sons. Andrew put down his bass and pursued his first love, the guitar, and was reunited with me twice in the twin guitar bands "Achilles" and "Mother's Fear". He continued to be a "gun for hire" guitarist and after years of national and international touring, settled in Halifax, where he is currently working on his first solo recording.
by Robert Graves
Tracks
1. Sweet Lovin' - 2:02
2. Prisoner - 2:31
3. Life Long - 3:44
4. Teaser - 3:17
5. March of the Trolls (Robert Graves, George Douglas) - 8:43
6. The New One - 5:12
7. Your Friends (Andrew Douglas, George Douglas) - 3:50
8. I Need You - 3:21
9. The Hooker (Robert Graves, Andrew Douglas, George Douglas) - 4:07
10.Freight Train (Robert Graves, George Douglas) - 1:26
11.omething On My Mind - 2:43
12.Tomorrow's Sorrow - 6:12
All songs by Robert Graves except where indicated

The Blue Max
*George Douglas - Drums
*Andrew Douglas - Bass, Vocals
*Robert Graves - Guitar, Lead Vocals

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Fraternal Order Of The All - Greetings From Planet Love (1967-68 us, fabulous orchestrated psychedelia with folk drops and experimental mood)



The Fraternal Order of the All is guitarist Andrew Gold in a home studio overdubbing mode, making the record he always wanted to make back in 1967 and 1968. To call this album retro-flavored would be putting it mildly, as Gold's tongue is firmly planted in his cheek all throughout the record and attendant booklet, right down to the fake names for all the musicians. With the exception of guest turns from Jimmy Caprio, Jimmy Herter and Graham Gouldman (who also produced one track and like Caprio and Herter, wrote one other), this is pretty much Andrew's ballgame here, with him playing and singing all the parts. 

The British rock, Beatles-styled psychedelic sounds truly abound on this disc, in the production values, instrumental work, and songwriting style. Highlights include "Tuba Rye and Will's Son/Balloon in the Sky" (with its Beach Boys-like vocal intro), "Rainbow People," "Freelove Baby," the three instrumentals that help the mood along ("Swirl," "Twirl," and "Whirl" and don't forget the "Groovy Party at Jimmy's Magic Pad"), and the trippy title track. 

Gold successfully nails all the sounds and cosmic junk that came with these kind of albums back during those heady times, and if the music wasn't so darn good on here, you'd declare this record just a nostalgic joke that works, but it is so much more than merely that; it's a tucked-away little gem that deserves a much wider audience. 
by Cub Koda 
Tracks
1. Greetings From Planet Love - 0:35
2. Rainbow People - 2:46
3. Love Tonight (Graham Gouldman, Mike Botts) - 5:45
4. Chasing My Tail - 2:29
5. Swirl - 1:19
6. Tuba Rye And Will's Son / Balloon In The Sky - 3:44
7. King Of Showbiz (Andrew Gold, Graham Gouldman) - 4:12
8. Whirl - 0:58
9. Freelove Baby - 2:44
10.Groovy Party At Jimmy's Magic Pad - 2:29
11.It's Beautiful - 0:52
12.Wink Of The Third Eye - 2:00
13.It Has No Eyes But Sight - 0:55
14.Twirl - 0:58
15.Space And Time - 3:24
16.Time Is Standing Still (James Caprio, Jim Herter) - 4:48
17.Ride The Snake - 1:47
18.Mr. Plastic Business Man - 4:14
19.Ccosmicc Ccarnivall - 0:32
20.Tomorrow Drop Dead - 4:34
All songs by Andrew Gold except where noted

Musicians
*Andrew Gold - Vocals, All Instruments
*Jim Caprio - Bass, Vocals
*Gene Pool - Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Graham Gouldman - Bass, Guitars, Vocals
*Kid Williy - Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Nicole - Vocals

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Crystal Mansion - Crystal Mansion feat Johnny Caswell (1969 us, essential sunny folk psych r'n'b, Vinyl edition)



The Crystal Mansion's relatively short story is that of a white R&B band moving towards groovy psychedelic rock in the '70s. At times they sound like Rare Earth but lack some of their force. The origins of the band are found in a cover band called the Secrets that existed from 1962 to 1968. The original setting included drummer Rick Morley and guitarist Ronnie Gentile. Later singer Johnny Caswell and organist Sal Rota were recruited. In 1968 they released The Thought of Loving You, their first single to get national airplay, and in the process decided to change the name to the Crystal Mansion. 

Capitol Records showed interest and let the band record The Crystal Mansion, an album that turned out a disappointment for all involved and did not sell much. A bass player had been lacking for a longtime but finally Billy Crawford was recruited, and in 1970 the single Carolina in My Mind was released, but only got to number 44 on the national charts. This song hinted a shift towards pop, maybe even sunshine pop similar to that of groups like the Mamas & the Papas, but that was never to be.

Percussionist Mario Sanchez joined the band in 1971, and in 1972 the album Crystal Mansion (the title confusingly similar to that of their debut album) was released on the Motown label Rare Earth. This time the group made much more use of their funky qualities but also showed strong influences from the psychedelic and progressive rock scene. 
by Lars Lovén
Tracks
1. For The First Time (Dave White) - 3:22
2. I Used To Be A Boy (Dave White, Johnny Caswell, Vince Baldino) - 2:21
3. Everything's In Love Today (Dave White, Johnny Caswell) - 3:19
4. Country (Eric Faulkner) - 3:23
5. Hallelujah (Dave White, Johnny Caswell) - 2:53
6. I Got Somethin' For You (Dave White, Johnny Caswell, Rick Morley, Ronny Gentile) - 3:33
7. The Thought Of Loving You (Dave White) - 2:33
8. And It Takes My Breath Away (Dave White, Johnny Caswell) - 4:12
9. Barbara (Dave White) - 4:13
10.Wishful Thinking (Johnny Caswell) - 2:38
11.Rhapsody (Dave White, Vince Baldino) - 2:28
12.Goin' To The Fields (Dave White, Johnny Caswell) - 7:05
13.The Thought Of Loving You (Mono Single Version) (Dave White) - 2:29

The Crystal Mansion
*Jerry Marlow - Bass
*Rick Morley - Drums
*Johnny Caswell - Vocals
*Ronny Gentile - Guitar
*Vince Baldino - Organ, Piano
*Dave White - Piano, Vocals
*Eric Faulkner - Vocals, Musical Assistance

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Shiva's Headband - Coming To A Head (1971 us, exceptional jazzy psych r'n'b folk rock)



Storming into the growing Austin music scene in 1967, the group became the house band at the Vulcan Gas Co. and the first group to perform at the renowned Armadillo World Headquarters. Shiva’s Headband ’s quickly rose to a leading position in the new Austin music scene and built a large following of loyal fans all over Texas—from Dallas to San Antonio and the Valley, to Corpus Christi, to Houston and Nacogdoches!  As the Headband’s reputation grew, both locally and world-wide, its appearance became a must on shows featuring national acts.  They played with such luminaries as Spirit, Steppenwolf, ZZ Top, Janice Joplin, Canned Heat and Steve Miller.  Contract offers arrived from RCA, CBS, Electra, Fillmore and others.  Finally, they signed with Capitol and released the first LP from the Austin scene (Take Me To The Mountains, produced by Spencer Perskin with Fred Catero ).  The Headband has had a number of subsequent releases over the years and now offers their first CD- Shiva’s Headband Classics, Vol. 1, Down in Texas (Produced by Spencer Perskin for Moontower).

The often imitated but never duplicated sound of leader and founder, Spencer Perskin, is undoubtedly the backbone of Shiva’s Headband.  Perskin began his career at age 8, and by age 9 was accepted as a special music student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he studied for eight year.  During his high school years, he played with the Hillcrest High Orchestra, the Hillcrest Band and the Dal-Hi Orchestra.  Following high school, Perskin attended North Texas State University where he, along with fellow classmates Michael Murphy and Steve Fromholz, was a member of the school’s Folk Music Club.  Perskin also played with the N.T.S.U. Orchestra. 

Three years later, in Austin, he and his wife, Susan, and friends founded the soon-to-be- famous Shiva’s Headband.  In 1969 Perskin released the Shiva’s second single on his new Armadillo Record label, after the Capitol release in 1970 he founded, with a lot of help from his friends, the now-legendary Armadillo World Headquarters—the institution most responsible for placing Austin, Texas firmly on the World Music Map!  Leading the group for almost three decades today Perskin fronts a rejuvenated Shiva’s that is as much a part of the new millennium as it was the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

"Coming to a Head" recorded in Houston in 1971 and released it on the Armadillo label  Produced by Spencer and recorded by Zak Lam.
Tracks
1. Such A Joy (Shawn Siegel) - 03:44
2. Hungry Ghost - 03:24
3. My Girlish Days (Spencer Perskin, Fred Lawler) - 03:50
4. Anyone (E. E. Cummings, B. McAdams) - 04:10
5. Denton - 03:06
6. California Mountain Klopper (Spencer Perskin, Shawn Siegel) - 04:30
7. Country Boy - 03:56
8. 'A' Rockslide (Spencer Perskin, Susan Perskin) - 03:28
9. Baby What You Didn't - 05:40
10.Someone - 03:53
11.Tennessee Waltz (Pee Wee King) - 02:59
12.Mr.Noname (Live) - 08:20
All compositions by Spencer Perskin except where stated

The Shiva's Headband
*Spencer Perskin - Fiddle, Guitar, Sax, Recorder, Vocals
*Shawn Siegel - Keyboards, Vocals
*Jerry Barnet - Drums
*Isaiah “Ike” Ritter - Rhythm, Lead, Pedal Steel Guitars, Vocals
*Susan Perskin - Vocals
*Mike Cooper - Bass
*Ed Vizard - Sax Lead In "Such Ajoy", Horns In "A" Rockslide

1977  Shiva's Headband - Psychedelic Yesterday

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Unrelated Segments And The Tidal Waves - Where You Gonna Go (1966-70 us, magnificent detroit garage heavy raw psych)



Long recognized as two of the best garage bands from Michigan, The Unrelated Segments whose “The Story Of My Life” has appeared on Rhino’s Nuggets box set and The Tidal Waves who scored a number one hit with “Farmer John” are the main focus of this compilation of Detroit garage bands. All of The Unrelated Segments and The Tidal Waves material are included on this release, in the finest sound yet.  All tracks from the original master tapes.

The Tidal Waves consisted of two High School students (Mark Karpinski and Tom Wearing) and  three Junior High School students (Bob Slap, Bill Long, and Jon Wearing). Mark and Tom were seniors at Roseville High. Bill, Bob, and Jon were ninth graders and  went to Roseville's Burton Jr. High. Jon was the one who asked Bill to join the group and play guitar. The Tidal Waves’ first release  “Farmer John” was a smash.  Bill Gavin’s Weekly Record Report for May 20, 1966 picked “Farmer John” as a “probable hit”.  It entered the charts at  Detroit radio station, WXYZ on May 9, at number 35 and the next week was already at number 14, two weeks later on May 30, it was number 5!  That same week over at rival WKNR the song peaked at no. 6 (it had entered  the WKNR Charts on May 2 at no.30).  It reached the coveted No.1 position on  WTRX the week of June 17.  Nationally it got as high as #79 on the Cash Box Top 100 survey, the week of June 25, 1966. 

The Tidal Waves popularity grew to such a degree that they opened for national touring bands such as The Animals and  The Herman's Hermits at Olympia Stadium and the Dave Clark Five at the Ford Auditorium.  The Tidal Waves also played some shows with The Unrelated Segments.  As for TV appearances, The Tidal Waves played all of their recorded output at various times on Robin Seymour’s “Swingin’ Time”  TV show.  In fact if not for The Tidal Waves performance of “Action” on “Swingin’ Time“, the single probably would have gone completely unnoticed in Detroit.  The next Tidal Waves’ single would be under a different name, The Gruve.

When the lead singer for The Unrelated Segments, Ron Stults, was growing up in the fifties he was impressed by Elvis and Ricky Nelson’s hits. Ron developed his vocal style while singing along with their songs on the radio.  In 1963, while barely in high school, he formed a group called The High Tones. The band recorded three songs that were cut to acetates, but are now missing in action.  The group became popular around Michigan and opened for national bands such as The Four Seasons.  In late 1963, The High Tones changed their instrumental style after listening to a Beatles’ album issued in Canada. This was a few months before The Beatles were known in America. The High Tones lasted till the early 1965, when one of the members was drafted into the Navy.

Ron then joined The Village Beaus(who also played on the same bill as The Lykes Of Us).  Rory Mack, a classmate of Ron, was also in the group. The band played lots of Beatles, Stones, and Them songs. Internal conflicts led to the break up of the group by September of 1966 and nothing was ever recorded. About two and a half months later Rory got hold of Ron because he was forming a new group with John Torock and they needed a lead singer. Ron joined up with the as yet unnamed group.  John Torock was the oldest member of the group (all the other members were still in high school) and was going to business college, taking a course in micro-economics. There was some theory about unrelated segments in his class and thus was born the name of the new group. John's father Louis was very helpful to the band and allowed them to use the Torock basement and garage for rehearsals. Louis would also become the group's official manager.

While many groups from the era were content to do cover songs for their live shows, The Segments performed mainly original songs that were unfortunately never recorded. One song, “Chocolate Graveyard”,  has attained mythical status among Unrelated Segment fans as existing, but the song was never recorded because Checkaway was afraid of the potential for racial overtones.  Ron says it was “a psychedelic song with a psychedelic title, influenced by bands with such names as The Strawberry Alarm Clock.” A couple of other problematic songs were "It’s All Right Mr. White" which was about the social upheavals in the 60's and again was not meant to have any racial overtones and "War In Vietnam", a protest song, very popular with the Segments’ audience. Another unreleased war protest song was "Mr. Christopher”.  It was about a man who was misused by the establishment and written in November of 1968

On January 1, 1969, U.S. recorded a song written by Ron and Rory titled "Hey Love".  It was also produced by the band and recorded at  GM Recording Studios in East Detroit. A couple of  months after this recording Rory decided he was leaving the music business for good and  was replaced by Craig Webb on lead guitar. The next song by U.S. was written by Ron and Craig entitled "There's Gonna Be A Change". It  was recorded in March of 1969. The personnel changes in the band though, had a permanent fracturing effect and before 1969 ended US dissolved.  Fragments of the group went on to form “Lost Nation” and record a Lp for Motown. 
Artists - Tracks - Composer
1. The Unrelated Segments – Hey Love - 3:06
2. The Unrelated Segments – Story Of My Life - 3:02
3. The Unrelated Segments – Where You Gonna Go? - 2:49
4. The Unrelated Segments – Cry, Cry, Cry - 3:05
5. The Unrelated Segments – It's Not Fair - 3:04
6. The Unrelated Segments – It's Gonna Rain - 2:28
7. The Tidal Waves – She Left Me All Alone (Victor Wittkowski) - 3:06
8. The Tidal Waves – I Don't Need Love (Dennis Mills) - 2:36
9. The Tidal Waves – Action! (Speaks Louder Than Words) (Dennis Mills) - 3:04
10.The Tidal Waves – Farmer John (Dewey Terry, Don "Sugarcane" Harris) - 2:12
11.The Tidal Waves – Big Boy Pete (Dewey Terry, Don "Sugarcane" Harris) - 2:38
12.The Tidal Waves – She's My Woman (Richard Cioffari) - 2:12
13.The Unrelated Segments – There's Gonna Be A Change - 2:55
14.Ron Stults – Wait - 4:21
15.Ron Stults – Easy Money - 4:53
16.Ron Stults – Lady Lace - 3:35
17.Ron Stults – Cool Slick Jenny - 4:11
18.Ron Stults – No Excuses - 4:30
19.The Unrelated Segments – Story Of My Life - 3:06
20.The Unrelated Segments – Where You Gonna Go? - 2:54
21.The Unrelated Segments – It's Gonna Rain - 2:08
All songs by Ron Stults, Rory Mack except where stated
Tracks 14-18 written by  Ron Stults

The Unrelated Segments
*Ron Stults - Lead Vocals
*Rory Mack - Lead Guitar
*Barry Van Engelen - Bass
*Andy Angellotti - Drums
*John Torock - Rhythm Guitar

The Tidal Waves
*Tom Wearing - Drums, Vocals
*Mark Karpinski - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Slap - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Jon Wearing - Percussion, Vocals
*Vic Witkowski - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Related Act
1970  Lost Nation - Paradise Lost

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Various Artists - Paint It Black (1965-68 uk/us, amazing compilation with mod psych r'n'b and garage rock, 2016 release)



The 2016 March 29th issue of world renown music magazine MOJO is flying out, probably due to its coverage of the Rolling Stones, who have just played a historic gig in Cuba, made possible after the thawing of relationships between the USA and its old enemy.

Cuba had a ban on foreign music for many years, so the Rolling Stones made a perfect pick to break the ice.  The Stones actually played the gig for free – and I’m sure made many new fans in the process.

The Mojo issue is zeroing in on The Rolling Stones stellar 1966 before zooming forward for an exclusive glimpse of their career-spanning Exhibitionism show (your guide: Mick Jagger!).

The FREE covermount CD, entitled “Paint It Black” features 15 tracks that illustrate mid-’60s rock’s turn to the weird, from The Yardbirds, The Seeds, 13th Floor Elevators, The Rationals and more.
Artists - Tracks - Composer
1. The Mickey Finn - Garden Of My Mind (Mickey Waller, Alan Mark, Bernard Jory) - 2:29
2. The Bonniwell Music Machine - Dark White (Sean Bonniwell) - 4:13
3. The Silence - Down Down (Andy Ellison) - 2:53
4. The 13th Floor Elevators - Reverberation (Doubt) (Sutherland, Erickson, Hall) - 2:45
5. The Spencer Davis Group - Morning Sun (Spencer Davis, Eddie Hardin, Kirk Duncan, Nicky James) - 3:20
6. The Seeds - Sad And Alone (Daryl Hooper, Sky Saxon) - 2:44
7. The Yardbirds - Still I'm Sad (Jim McCarty, Paul Samwell-Smith) - 2:55
8. The Pretty Things - The Sun (Phil May, Wally Waller) - 3:02
9. Chris Farlowe - Paint It Black (Soundtrack Version) (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 2:50
10.The Rationals - Leaving Here (Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland) - 3:10
11.Hat And Tie - Finding It Rough (Patrick Campell Lyons, Chris Thomas) - 2:48
12.Mountain Men - Too Many People Around (Mountain Men) - 2:56
13.The Lloyd Alexander Real Estate - Whatcha Gonna Do (When Your Baby Leaves You) (Chuck Willis) - 2:55
14.The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Devil's Grip (Arthur Brown) - 3:18
15.The Red Crayola - Hurricane Fighter Plane (Mayo Thompson, Frederick Barthelme, Steve Cunningham) - 3:45

Related Acts
1964-67  The Mickey Finn - Garden Of My Mind
1966-67  The Music Machine - The Ultimate Turn On
1968-69  he Music Machine - The Bonniwell Music Machine
1969  T.S. Bonniwell - Close
1966  The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
1967  13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere
1965  The Spencer Davis Group - Their First LP
1966  The Spencer Davis Group - The Second Album
1966  The Spencer Davis Group - Autumn '66
1965-93  The Seeds - Pushin' Too Hard
1967  The Seeds - Future
1963-68  The Yardbirds - Glimpses
1964  The Yardbirds - Five Live Yardbirds
1968  The Yardbirds - Live Yardbirds!
1964-66  The Pretty Things - The EP Collection...Plus
1967  The Pretty Things - Emotions
1965-69  Chris Farlowe - Out of Time The Immediate Anthology
1970  Chris Farlowe With The Hill - From Here To Mama Rosa
1965-69  The Rationals - Think Rational
1968  The Rationals - Temptation 'Bout To Get Me / Live At The Grande Ballroom
1968  The Red Crayola - God Bless The Red Krayola And All Who Sail With It

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Tony Joe White - Tony Joe (1970 us, great swamp rock melted with blues and country, 2013 Japan remaster)



A true icon of swamp rock, Tony Joe White parlayed his songwriting talent and idiosyncratic vocals into a modestly successful country and rock career in Europe as well as America. Born July 23, 1943, in Goodwill, Louisiana, White was born into a part-Cherokee family. He began working clubs in Texas during the mid-'60s and moved to Nashville by 1968. White's 1969 debut album for Monument, Black and White, featured his Top Ten pop hit "Polk Salad Annie" and another charting single, "Roosevelt and Ira Lee (Night of the Moccasin)." That same year, Dusty Springfield reached the charts with White's "Willie and Laura Mae Jones.

Brook Benton recorded a version of White's "Rainy Night in Georgia" that hit number four early in 1970; the song has since become a near-standard with more than 100 credits. White's own "Groupie Girl" began his European success with a short stay on the British charts in 1970.
by John Bush
Tracks
1. Stud Spider - 5:37
2. High Sheriff Of Calhoun Parrish - 3:51
3. Widow Wimberly - 3:42
4. Groupie Girl - 3:04
5. Conjure Woman - 3:57
6. Save Your Sugar For Me - 2:21
7. Hard To Handle (Otis Redding, Alvertis Isbell, Allen Jones) - 2:53
8. What Does It Take (Vernon Bullock, Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua) - 3:40
9. My Friend (Donnie Fritts, Spooner Oldham) - 3:12
10.Stockholm Blues - 3:28
11.Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker) - 7:52
12.I Protest (Wayne Carson) - 3:10
13.Man Can Only Stand Just So Much Pain (Mickey Newbury) - 2:31
Songs written by Tony Joe White except where stated
Bonus Tracks 4, 12 and 13

Musicians
*Tony Joe White - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Whomper Stomper Box
*Norbert Putnam - Bass
*Mike Utley - Organ, Piano
*Jerry Carrigan - Drums
*Tommy McClure - Bass
*David Briggs - Organ, Piano
*Sammy Creason - Drums
*The Nashville Horns And Strings Arranged by Bergen White

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Druids Of Stonehenge - Creation (1968 us, exciting rough garage psych, 2010 edition)



Founded in 1965, the Druids of Stonehenge not only looked dark and mysterious, but the music they played emitted a menacing bite as well.

Gaining recognition on the local front, the New York band even had a chapter devoted to them in Richard Goldstein’s Goldstein’s Greatest Hits, a book pertaining to popular culture of the day. Due to such glowing feedback and wide exposure, the Druids of Stonehenge were clearly primed for world domination.

The band then hooked up with Uni Records and released the album Creation in 1968, which has recently been reissued by the Sundazed label. Although the disc was bundled tight with terrific tunes and inspired performances, sales were underwhelming and the Druids of Stonehenge simply faded into the ether. But like a lot of albums that were ignored at the time they were cut, in hindsight Creation has attained the praise it so wildly deserves.

Most of the material presented on the record pays apparent homage to the crude and crass blues laced rock of Them, the Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things. Anchored by filthy vocals growling and snarling with bile, “Six Feet Down” moves at a slow and haunting pace, while “Speed” crackles and crunches with clattering guitars and edgy harmonies.

Blending eerie tones with gritty rock rhythms, “Painted Woman” and “A Garden Where Nothing Grows” hang fast as other notable songs on “Creation,” along with numbing covers of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All over Now Baby Blue” and Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You.” As attested by these tracks, the Druids of Stonehenge were masters of melancholy. Motivated by doom and gloom, the band produced a stupefying spooky sound. Imagine the Chocolate Watchband jamming with Black Sabbath, and that should give you some idea what zone the Druids of Stonehenge operated in.

While the band was certainly not shy about flaunting their British beat influences, they were definitely not a one trick pony. The original material on “Creation” exhibits plenty of initiative, particularly “Forgot To Begot,” which offers a surprising change of scenery from the band’s bluesy brash anthems. Speckled with the twirling ting of a harpsichord, the shimmery song flickers with surrealistic sensations, resulting in a remarkably sophisticated piece of psychedelic pop.

Churning and burning with raw emotions, Creation portrays the fine art of authentic garage rock in all its ragged glory.
by Beverly Paterson
Tracks
1. Six Feet Down (Billy Tracy, Carl Hauser, Steven Tindall) - 2:36
2. Earthless (David Budge, J. Budge) - 2:45
3. I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins) - 2:42
4. Speed (Carl Hauser, David Budge) - 2:57
5. Bring It On Home (Can't Get By Alone) (M. Hardo) - 6:47
6. Painted Woman (Jerry Goldstein) - 3:25
7. Pale Dream (Carl Hauser) - 2:35
8. Signed D. C. (Arthur Lee) - 3:23
9. Forgot To Be Begot (M. Coachbarepeno) - 2:36
10.A Garden Where Nothing Grows (Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer) - 3:00
11.It's All Over Now Baby Blue (Bob Dylan) - 5:06

The Druids Of Stonehenge
*Tom Paine - Bass, Vocals
*Steven Tindall - Drums, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Billy (B. T.) Tracy - Guitar
*Carl Hauser - Lead Guitar, Harpsichord, Vocals
*David Budge - Lead Vocals

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Casey Jones And The Governors - Don't Ha Ha (1963-66 uk, fine beat roots 'n' roll)



For a guy who was a founding father in the Mersybeat movement; worked with the likes of Eric Clapton (briefly), and enjoyed a recording career that's spanned some four generations, he isn't particularly well known in either the UK, or the States.

Born Brian Casser in Liverpool, England after a brief career in the merchant Navy by the late 1950s he'd supplemented his income as a cook by adopting the stage name Casey Jones and formed one of Liverpool's earliest rock bands - Cass and the Casanovas.  Casser quickly discovered there was money to be made in rock and roll and by 1959 he was running one of Liverpool's first rock clubs - The Casanova Club which began booking local groups, including an early gig by the newly formed Beatles.  Unfortunately, personality issues and differences in musical approaches saw The Casanovas fall apart.  With Jones interested in handling lead vocals, the other three members fired him, subsequently reappearing as The Big Three. The trio quickly picked up a manager in the form of Brian Epstein, signed with Decca and began a brief recording career that included stints working as Cilla Black's backing band. 

For his part Jones split for London where after about a year he scored a contract with Columbia.  Credited to Casey Jones & the Engineers, he made his debut with the release of 1963's 'One Way Ticket' b/w 'I'm Gonna Love You' (Columbia catalog number DB 7083).  Anxious to support the single, he ended up recruiting former Roosters lead guitarist Eric Clapton and bass player Tom McGuinness, with backing from drummer Ray Stack.  The band's pop orientation didn't particularly suit Clapton or McGuinness and within a matter of months they'd both tendered their notices; Clapton reappearing in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.   With a new line up consisting of lead guitarist David Coleman, rhythm guitar player Roger Cook, drummer Peter Richards, and bassist Jim Rodford Casey Jones and the Engineers soldiered on, releasing a pair of German singles on the Bellaphon label.

Aware of the immense pool of musical talent in the UK and cutthroat nature of the business, Jones decided to relocate the band to West Germany where there was considerable demand for the talents of English bands.  The band also opted for a modest name change - becoming Casey Jones and the Governors.  The name was apparently chosen to underscore their British roots.  That move proved quite shrewd with Bellaphone repackaging the two earlier singles under an EP credited to Casey Jones and the Governors.

While the EP did little commercially, it attracted the attention of the Golden 12 label which signed the band and agreed to finance an album.  

Musically "Casey Jones and the Governors" wasn't going to change your world outlook.  None of the 14 performances was bad, but without a single original composition the album found Jones and company forced to plow through a pedestrian mixture of R&B and soul chestnut covers.  Showcasing Jones' somewhat goofy demeanor and mediocre voice, it was obvious these guys simply would not have been able to compete with the majority of their English competitors.  That left them in an awkward position of having to try to make it on the basis of personality - not a strength that translated to vinyl particularly well.  So here's the funny thing about the set ...  even though there wasn't an ounce of originality in these grooves, the results were surprisingly enjoyable.  Who knows why this one struck such a chord with me. Perhaps because these guys were such underdogs?  Maybe because they actually showed some in-studio enthusiasm?  Who knows.
Tracks
1. Don't Ha Ha (Smith, Vincent) - 2:03
2. Love Potion No. 9 (Leiber, Stoller) - 2:04
3. Mickeys Monkey (Robinson) - 3:05
4. Parchman Farm (Allison) - 2:54
5. Slow Down (Williams) - 3:08
6. Too Much Monkey Business (Berry) - 2:27
7. Sounds Like Locomotion (St. John) - 1:50
8. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Williams) - 2:04
9. Talking 'Bout You (Berry) - 2:03
10.Do The Dog (Thomas) - 2:48
11.Can't Judge A Book (McDaniels) - 2:36  
12.So Long Baby (Jones) - 4:26
13.Jack The Ripper (Sutch) - 3:02
14.Nashville Special (Larson) - 2:28
15.One Way Ticket (Davis, Duncan, Jones) - 2:47
16.I'm Gonna Love (Davis, Duncan) - 2:02
17.Tall Girl (Jones) - 2:02
18.Blue Tears (Jones) - 2:47
19.Don't Ha Ha (1st Version) (Smith, Vincent) - 2:01
20.Long Gone Train (Jones) - 2:36
21.Candy Man (Ross, Neil) - 2:19
22.Tallahassee Lassie (Slay, Crese, Picariello) - 2:24
23.So Long Baby (Mono Single Mix) (Jones) - 4:25
24.Bumble Bee (German Version) (Fullylock, Baker, Holm) - 2:19
25.Rootin Tootin Baby (Jones) - 2:32
26.Yockomo (Mono Single Mix) (Smith, Vincent) - 2:32
27.Baby Why Did You Say Goodbye (Jones) - 2:30
28.Little Girl (Jones) - 3:07
29.A Legal Matter (Townsend) - 2:55
Tracks 15-29 as Casey Jones And His Engineers

Casey Jones And The Governors
*Casey Jones - Vocals
*Jim Redford - Bass
*Roger Hook - Guitar
*Peter Richards - Drums
*David Colman - Guitar

Casey And His Engineers
*Eric Clapton - Lead Guitar
*Casey Jones (Aka Brian Casser) - Vocals, Keyboards
*Tom McGuinness - Bass
*Ray Stock - Drums, Percussion

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